Hotline set up to aid Prince George's schools investigation

In late August, the state of Maryland announced it would hire this firm to conduct an audit of Prince George's County Public Schools. They also rolled out a hotline for people to send in anonymous tips about questionable practices.

PRINCE GEORGE'S CO., MD (WUSA9) - A hotline has been set up to aid an investigation into Prince George's County Public School graduation rates, but some leaders are concerned not has enough has been done to inform teachers about it.

On Thursday, the chief executive of Prince George's County sent out an email  to inform staff about the hotline after the audit firm made the request. 

The anonymous tip hotline was set up in the middle of September, just a few weeks after the Maryland State Department of Education announced it had hired a firm to conduct an audit of PGCPS.

Since then, PGCPS School Board Member Edward Burroughs told WUSA9 that teachers have come up to him with tips, unaware that a hotline even exists.

Burroughs said the experience caused him to call on the PGCPS Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell to send an email directly to all teachers about the hotline.

"If the superintendent does not send out these emails soon, the window of factfinding will close," Burroughs said.

The state said it expects to have a final report regarding the PGCPS graduation rate situation finished by October 31. PGCPS Spokesperson John White has defended the school district's actions so far.

He said the PGCPS Board of Education Office has shared the hotline information through each Board member's listserv and that the state auditor has also visited some of the schools in the district. White added that media outlets thoughout the DMV have also informed the public about the hotline.

However, Burroughs still feels that is not enough.

"Some employees are not reading the newspaper, but every employee has a system email address," he said.

Theresa Dudley, President of the Prince George's County Educators' Association, said the entire situation has made it harder for teachers to focus on their job and educate students.

"Accusations of conspiracy are aimed at the administration and they're being levied against the administration by members of the school board," she said. "And, unfortunately, our educators are caught in the middle of this."

The hotline number is 1-833-535-6103. Tipsters can also send information by email through PGCPSSpecialReview@alvarezandmarsal.com.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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